Walk around New York City, and you can actually feel how the city buzzes with energy. It’s enticing, contagious. But once you’re all fired up, where do you go? Who better to ask than digital media entrepreneur and longtime New Yorker Jonathan Keidan? Having co-founded the website InsideHook, a super-modern lifestyle and city guide for interesting guys with great taste, he is the perfect person to take us on a tour of the best of NYC. Why does he love The Big Apple? “The people. They go deep in what they do, whether it’s their hobby or profession—there’s passion, diversity and intensity. It’s inspiring,” says Jon. (FYI, his hobbies: politics and playing the drums. Not only is Jon a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, but he’s also a diehard drummer. In fact, he holds regular jam sessions in his downtown loft, even playing with the likes of famed New Orleans pianist, and bandleader on Steven Colbert, Jon Batiste. Yes, we’d say that’s pretty diverse.)
But first, nobody heads out to paint the town without a little pre-game primping, or rather, grooming. “When we launched InsideHook four years ago, our readers cared mostly about fashion and accessories. Today, it’s about overall health; and skin care is part of being healthy.” Jon says his go-to products are face wash and moisturizer, twice a day, every day. “I don’t like anything with fragrance, and I’m also allergic to it, so clean, simple, effective ingredients are all that matter,” he says. The newest addition to his regimen? “SPF, for sure,” he says. “I think it’s really important, even if you’re going in between meetings. It’s not just for the beach.”
Ready to hit the town? Read on for his insider’s guide to New York City. Here are Jonathan’s favorite places for…
…Sunday brunch: The Smile, 26 Bond St, 10012
“It has a great ambiance and an interesting, sort of artsy crowd. A cozy, communal spot with the best egg sandwich in Manhattan.”
…dinner with a big group of friends: EN Japanese Brasserie, 435 Hudson St, 10014
“It’s a beautiful restaurant, and you can actually get a table for a group without too much effort. The food is excellent, traditional Japanese.”
…a wicked cocktail: Up & Up, 116 Macdougal St, 10012
"A laid-back, beautiful oasis with inventive drinks and some history--it was once the Gaslight where a young James Taylor and Bob Dylan played."
…feeding your creative soul: Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W 10th St, 10014
“It’s an old-school venue in the West Village, down in a basement, and the musicians are incredible. On Monday nights, you get a lot of legends stopping by to sit in with the band.”
…the best NYC event right now: Midnite Motown parties, The McKittrick Hotel, 530 W 27th St, 10001
“I’ve co-founded these parties with an amazing live band that has the best soul musicians in the city. It’s a very cool crowd and everyone dances until the morning.” Interested piqued? Sign up for the InsideHook email to be in the know on when the next MidNite Motown will light up the night and other great NYC venues.